The Seventh Deadly Sin
The Seventh Deadly Sin
A couple of days passed.
James woke up before me, kissed me goodbye, and left me a note on the pillow beside me stating that he had to see someone. I had hoped it wasn’t some woman that he was seeing as well as I. However, he ended the letter with: I love you, that may have relaxed my paranoia, but something in my gut told me to be careful, but I couldn’t stop smiling.
My door opened as I was reading the letter. Stacy entered, told me to get dressed, and that Gaelan wanted to see me. I rolled onto his side of the bed and stretched. The pillow smelled just like him. As I stood, the sheets came off and revealed my body. I opened the curtains to see a beautiful sunny day. For once, I had woken up happy and encouraged to do something with my life other than work for that petty man. The king had lived out his rule long enough, it was time to crown a new leader, and I had my eye on the throne. As I walked over to my washroom, I picked up the house coat and put it on.
My father was having a business meeting with Andy, which is never a good sign, as I entered his office. The room fell silent. Gaelan motioned for Andy to leave, he got up and nodded as he walked passed me.
“Lylie, darling, please sit,” Gaelan motioned to the couch as he got up from his desk to lean on the front of it. “I got you a gift.” He placed a white box with a red ribbon on it on the coffee table in front of me, next to a few guns. I smiled, however, that smiled turned into a frown as fast as it came. I opened the box to find a black corset with a red ribbon it and an envelope with an address. I tossed the box to the side and quickly stood up.
“I’m not doing this bloody shit anymore,” I said, rage filled inside me, that feeling of wrath. He just kept his eyes on me as though he froze in time. That was the first time I stood up to Gaelan, I was so scared I wanted to cry, but I stood my ground, hoping he wouldn’t do anything too drastic; that being said, if I could control my own temper as well.
Gaelan nodded and looked at the box, with it’s contents spread out on the floor. “Please enlighten me with a reasonable explanation.”
“I just, I can’t take this. Every deal, every meeting, everyone you find suspicious you lay on me and I have to deal with it, and not in the way I was promised either. I want in Gaelan. I’m tired of doing your dirty work. Seven years I’ve been slaving over bullshit. Another man, another problem, another issue I have to solve because you’re too lazy to deal with it on your own. I’m not a child anymore. I’m tired of being a fucking slave.”
“You think you can do what I do? You think you have the balls to kill someone? You think you can take over my business? Let me tell you something sweetheart, your mother was the exact same way as you and look how she turned out. Why don’t you shut your fucking mouth and do what I tell you!” The silence was uncanny.
“Did you kill my mother?” tear formed in my eyes.
“She was taking my business clients Lylie! They were mine! I told her there would be consequences, but do you think the little cunt listened to me?”
“You killed her!” I was in shock, I was angered.
“I never said that Lylie, all I said was: ‘what goes around comes around.’ My motto if you will.”
“So because she fucked you over I have to live this life of some prostitute for you so that you won’t get fucked over again? Just because of what she did I owe you that much? I’m you’re fucking daughter, you psycho!”
“That’s my point! Your mother always told me that if anything ever happened to her, she knew that you’d call me. I wanted to kill you the second I received that call, but when I saw you at the airport I couldn’t help but see Rose. The woman I once loved who took everything from me. Who betrayed me! You think you know the story Lylie, believe me sweetheart, you don’t know the half of it. You want out Lylie, there’s only one way out.”
“Why Gaelan? Why? There shouldn’t be only one way out. I should be able to control my own fucking life without having you breathing down my fucking neck and ruining it. Why can’t I chose? Fuck, why can’t I be in on the business, be told more than what I’m told? I’ve laid my tracks down. It’s about fucking time—”
“I don’t tell you shit because it’s none of your concern,” he yelled. “All you have to do is make sure you stay clean and don’t get fucking pregnant. That’s it. When I need you, believe me kid, I won’t ever, but if I do, I’ll let you know. Now, suck it up and get to work.”
“So, that’s it? You get the last say without even taking me into consideration. My feelings, my needs. I just get thrown to the curb as per usual and have to do what you say.”
“Yes, Lylie because not only am I your father but I’m your fucking boss! Now go you worthless piece of shit,” he said and started to turn his back.
I took the gun off the coffee table and cocked it. Standing in front of Gaelan, turning him, I put the gun in his hands and held it to my head. Tears were rolling down my cheeks, the anger burning inside me ready to erupt.
“Here’s your chance. Shoot me. Go on, pull it. Put me out of my bloody misery. Go on, pull the fucking trigger!” I yelled. Gaelan did not move, he solely kept his gaze. My breathing grew quicker and louder. I hit the gun away from my face. “You fucking coward.” I turned to walk out of the office. I could hear Gaelan walking behind me, he took my head and slammed it against the door. I winced as he continued to push my head into the door.
“Goddamn bitch if you ever speak to me like that again, so help me I will not hesitate and pull that fucking trigger,” he loosened his grip and backed off. Blood started forming onto my forehead. He took the box and put everything back inside, throwing it at me. “Get to work.”
I stood, box in hand, and marched to my room. I threw the box on the bed and walked into the washroom. I leaned over the sink and watched as the water and the blood became one. I looked up to see what I had become. I stood back and judged the person I saw standing in front of me. Tears continued to fall. I knew that one day I would be rid of that place, the business, I knew that one day I would rule. The anger that built up inside me day after day was soon going to get the best of me. I needed to get out. I needed, as Gaelan stated, to grow a pair. The blood dripped into my eye, I leaned down to splash water in it. I looked up, water made it’s way down my face, dripping to my chin. Blood also made it’s way around my eye and down my cheek. I was a volcano ready to erupt. I punched the mirror in front of me. Watching as it shattered, watching myself shatter with it.
There were no lights on in front of the building, aside from a single flickering light at the door. Alone in the dark I was, as I made my way slowly up the steps to the front door and rang the bell. The door buzzed and I opened it, I exhaled the smoke from my mouth and flicked the butt on to the ground as I walked into the building. The halls seemed deserted, my boots echoed with each step. I pressed the button and waited for the elevator. Taking the envelope out of my pocket, it read Donnie 6B. I wanted to open it so badly, though I knew I shouldn’t just yet. The elevator doors opened and I stepped in. The button for six had a sticker on it of Elmo. I chuckled as I pressed it and waited. I fixed the wig on my head and the gloves on my hands. In seconds, the doors opened and I stepped out. As I turned to walk to the man’s condo, he was already waiting for me in the hallway, wearing nothing but a red silk robe.
“Can I help you?” he asked. I hand him the envelop and he opened it. Donnie put his hand out, motioning for me to go inside. I slowly walked in and stopped as Donnie walked passed me. “How do I know that Gaelan didn’t send you here to kill me?”
He looked at me and I moved my finger tips up and down my cleavage. I bit my lip and slowly walked toward him, noticing his manhood rise beneath his robe. I stood in front of him caressing his arm and moving my knee out of the jacket, showing some leg. Donnie went in to kiss me when I reached for a knife, that was strapped to my leg, and brought it to his neck. Without hesitation, I slit his throat. Donnie fell to the ground like a sack of potatoes.
“She was an innocent child that has no one now. Her father and her mother were killed by my father and you just stood there and watched,” I had leaned down as I said that. The man kept his eyes on me, gurgling, choking, holding his neck for dear life. “My father told me something funny today—well maybe not funny on your part—‘what goes around comes around,’ don’t you find that saying just, fitting? For years upon years this wrath was just building up inside of me, and y’know Donnie, it just feels so good to let it out on the one person I know hates me most in this world. My face is the last you’ll ever see, and remember, Gaelan sent me here.”
I took the man’s face and smiled, blood seeped it’s way on my glove. I blew him a kiss and took the envelope from him that Gaelan instructed me to give. I stood. My jacket had blood splattered all over it, as I stepped away from Donnie whose squirming was getting less and less violent. The pool of blood getting bigger and bigger until he just stopped. I walked over to the table, wiped my gloves on my jacket, and opened the envelope Gaelan wanted him to have. All that was inside was a letter that said: “fuck her raw, then give her the numbers.” I looked on his desk which was at the far end of the condo and was very neatly organized. A red file lay exposed in the centre of the desk with ‘Gaelan’ written on it. I took the folder and put it under my arm. As I walked toward the door, I couldn’t help but noticed something shiny on the kitchen table. I walked over to it and lifted it up. A badge from the NYPD rest in the palm of my hand. I turned to face the man who was lying in his own pool of blood still staring at me. I put the badge down, turned toward the exit and closed the door behind me.
I decided to walk as far as I could before my feet started hurting. I had taken off my coat and threw it in the trash along with the wig and gloves, leaving me in solely a sweater and a pair of jean shorts to walk in. I walked until I got to Central Park, where I couldn’t walk anymore, and sat on a bench. I watched as people walked passed taking their nightly strolls, runners getting into better shape for the New York marathon. I sat there and smoked all of my cigarettes under the light of the moon, so peaceful, silent, like I was in a dream. People smiled as they passed me, but I couldn’t help but keep my eye on that moon. How it was so large and so bright, the way it peaked itself through the clouds. The folder lay in my lap. I wondered if I was meant to find it. If Donnie knew I was sent there to kill him, though I wasn’t, the badge and folder were in plain sight, very coincidentally. I still couldn’t believe that he was a cop. How could I have been so stupid and not scan my surroundings before I killed him? What if someone had been there? Then again, did Donnie leave it there purposefully so that I would see it and ask him about it? Or did he leave it exposed so that I would tell Gaelan there’s a rat among us? I killed Donnie solely because he just let Gaelan kill those people and tear that family apart. I wanted out of my ‘position’ in that business. I wanted in and that was my way and standing my ground, taking charge. I wanted to rule and I knew I would. What goes around comes around.
I sat there and watched as the morning began and the night ended.
I hailed the first cab that I saw and watched as the beautiful city, shrunk the further away I went. The drive was peaceful. For once, I felt as though I was in control, as though I was Queen.
What I didn’t like was that Donnie was a cop. A rat? Did my father know any of this? Was I the one who had to figure it out on my own? Even worse, did Gaelan set me up?
I walked into the silent house and went straight for my room. My walking echoed throughout the hallway. I locked the door behind me and placed the folder on my bed as I undressed and sat in the shower. The warm water hitting my skin, I was so exhausted I fell asleep, only to wake up when the water temperature changed and cold water caused goosebumps to cover my body. I stood and wrapped myself in a towel. My mirror had been cleaned and replaced in the time I was away. I caught my reflection and smiled. Continuing to walk toward a bed who was calling my name.
I lay there and closed my eyes, finally relaxing. Though relaxation would not come upon me. My eyes opened and the red folder lay untouched yet exposed, near the foot of the bed. I leaned over and took it in my hands. What could Gaelan want with that anyway?
I sat up and got comfortable, placing the folder on my thighs, I slowly opened it. Papers, photographs, reports, all nonsense to do with people I did not recognize. I placed the papers to my chest as I went through them. Names, addresses, and a list of phone numbers with names and code names next to them. That must have been the paper Gaelan was looking for. Evan was in here as well, though we all knew that he was our mole. I held up the paper with his photograph attached to it. He looked just like Gaelan, though with blue eyes and darker hair. I chuckled at the goofy smile Evan was making in the photograph.
Continuing to flip through the files, I felt as though my heart sunk deep into my stomach. There in my hands was a photograph of James, in a uniform with a bunch of papers clipped to it. Tears filled my eyes out of rage over sadness. All that time, James had been the rat among us. I was in such awe, yet I was intrigued to know why he would want to do something like that when if he was ever discovered, his little cop buddies wouldn’t be there to save him.
What pissed me off the most, was that ‘James Costa’ wasn’t even his real name. Chris Harding. That was his real name. He wasn’t even from New York, he was from some hick town in Canada. Not only did I fall for a rat, I fell for a fake and a liar. Was that the reason why James wanted me to quit? So, that when Gaelan and his men got busted I would not be part of it.
In the report it said that Marshall and Deagan were the ones that placed him in the ‘job’ in the first place, along with Donnie. Served that bastard right to get slaughtered. I knew I couldn’t tell my father about that information, Gaelan wouldn’t care if I loved James or not, all Gaelan would see is a rat sniffing for the cheese.
I felt so stupid to have not seen that, to not even have noticed. That was my job! Gaelan got me to do his dirty work for him so that, one, he saved money on hookers, and two, he wouldn’t lose valuable men incase the person being looked into, decided to kill. I was supposed to, not only keep the clients happy, but find things that were supposed to be kept hidden. Then again, I had done my job by finding all that out, maybe not the killing of Donnie, but I needed to change things around here and make them my own. It was only a matter of time now.
I barely slept at all. My eyes were sore from being open, yet every time I closed them, all I could see was James’ face. I knew I needed to confront him before Gaelan found out what happened to Donnie.
Without hesitation, I quickly threw something on and tip toed my way through the house and headed for the front door, being sure to have kept the folder hidden under my shirt.
“Where are you headed so early?” Stacy asked, green mask on her face, as I took keys off the hook. I took a deep breath and turned to face her.
“Just out for a drive, figured it is a beautiful morning, might as well take advantage of it.”
“Lylie, darling, it’s cold and raining.”
“Yup, favourite kind of weather, reminds me of back home.”
“All right, well, will you be back for brunch? James, Francois, Andy, and Cristof will be here.”
“Probably,” I closed the door behind me and walked to the car. That was said to have been my car, yet Gaelan never let me drive to any of the jobs on my own, so I never really was allowed to use it. Though I did enjoy taking Francois’ motorbike out every now and again. I slipped on shoes and started the engine. I knew my destination, I knew I had to go see James and get some explanation as to why and how come he didn’t tell me about any of this.
My heart felt as though it was going to come out of my chest, the lump in my throat swelling the closer I got. I stopped in front of his house and kept my eyes on the road in front of me. Hoping that it would all blow over, or that it was all just a dream of some sort. I felt like I couldn’t move, like I was frozen. The folder rest hidden still under my shirt, as though if I kept it hidden, something would change, something would make that realization go away.
The sun poked over some of the houses and I decided to suck it up and head inside. I took the folder out and held it firmly in my hands. I stepped out of the car and walked up to the front door of James’ house. Was that even his house or just some rental? The anticipation of waiting for James to open the door frightened me. I could hear foot steps as James answered the door, shirtless, rubbing his eyes.
“Lylie? What are you doing here? It’s kind of early.”
“I just, um, I just needed to talk to you, if that’s all right?” I crossed my arms with the folder in between them. James opened the door and allowed me to walk in. “I’m sorry if I woke you.”
“Nah, it’s fine baby. You want coffee?” James asked and walked into the kitchen where I followed and nodded. He stood near the sink as I sat at the table and placed the folder in front of me.“What’d you wanna talk to me about?”
“Um,” I started.
“What happened to your head?” James asked and walked over to me. “Did he do this?”
“I’m fine. I really, really need to just come out and say this. Christ I’m so nervous I feel like I’m about to faint,” I pressed my lips together and looked up at him.
“Lylie, you can’t let him do this to you every time you piss him off,” he stopped what he was doing and looked over at me. A tear ran down my cheek, though I brushed it away. His eyes gazed at the folder. “What—why are you here?” James looked as though he were scared.
“I found this last night at a job I was supposed to do, and I just, I really don’t know what to come of it,” I tapped the red folder but did not open it. James placed the coffee can on the counter and looked at the red folder.
“What’s in it?”
“It was this man that worked for my father, I’ve never met him though, I just saw him stand there as Gaelan killed that little girl’s parents. But I just, I was supposed to go to his house, to Donnie’s house, last night. Which I did, and I was supposed to get these numbers from him. Which I did. I just didn’t do exactly what I was supposed to do when I arrived,” I said, James couldn’t keep his eyes off that folder. “I was supposed to go there and let him do whatever he wanted to me. But I just had enough of it. I was tired of being a whore and never getting my way, or never being able to make decisions in meetings, then again, I’d have to be invited to these meetings. I’m tired of being this filthy person. I want to be taken seriously. I wasn’t going to do it last night, but I went anyway. I walked in there and I just killed him. I slit his throat like cattle and watched as he took his last breath. The sad part is I don’t even feel bad. I couldn’t care less that this man is dead. I don’t want to quit this life, I want to rule this life.”
“Lylie, what’s in that folder?”
“I took this folder because it has Gaelan’s name on it. The numbers he wanted are also in here, but what really shocked me was as I was walking out of Donnie’s place, a nice shining gold badge flashed me. Of course I thought nothing of it, so I killed a pig. Then when I got home and opened the folder, I realized how many pigs there truly are.”
“What are you saying?”
“Is it true?” I started, chocking up a little. “I don’t really know what to believe right now—”
“—I was going to tell you,” his New York accent disappeared.
“When? Hm? When my father found out and killed you? Was I supposed to find out after you arrested me?”
“I would never do that.”
“Then when? Because this right here James, or Chris, or whatever the fuck your name is, is not okay. It’s bad enough that my half-brother is our rat, I don’t need you to be one as well.”
“They wouldn’t accept me in homicide. It was either undercover work, desk job, or control parking metres. I had no choice Lylie, and I didn’t know that I would meet someone like you neither.”
“Is that why you snuck out the other morning? Hm? To have a meeting with your cop buddies?” I stood and started pacing.
“Yes, and I have another one today. Lylie come with me. They can protect you.”
“Protect me? I can handle myself!” I grabbed the folder and headed for the door, but stopped and opened the folder. “Wait a second, ‘Harding?’ Why does that name sound so familiar?”
“My father,” James said and put his head down.
“So, that’s why Gaelan wanted you. He wanted you, the son of the man who betrayed my father and nearly got him killed. Why couldn’t you just tell me James?” I turned to walk off when James stopped me by grabbing my arm. “Get off me.”
“Lylie—” he kissed me. “I should have told you I know, but please Lylie, come with me so that when all this shit goes down, you’ll be safe. No one will take you away from me.”
I stood there, James gripping my arms and holding me close. I didn’t want to go, but I felt as though I needed to go and try to get as many rats in my back pocket as possible before Gaelan tumbled and the throne was empty. To start fresh without any mishaps.
Tommy Harding was in business with my father when they were young. Instead of having a right hand man like Francois, Gaelan and Tommy were side by side, they made decisions together, they made deals together, everything was simplified and easier back then. All they did were drug deals, nothing more, nothing less. Until my father came onto an opportunity to get into guns, of course being the greedy man that he was, he accepted the offer without consulting Tommy. Tommy didn’t think too highly of that and told my father that he wanted to get out of the business before the business got too hectic and things were not like they planned them to be. Gaelan couldn’t accept the fact that his best friend wanted to quit the business and tried to kill him, but as he went to Tommy’s house that night to do the dirty deed, he found Tommy in bed with Gaelan’s second wife, Lisa, the woman he cheated on my mother with then married her after my mother had left with me to England. My father felt so betrayed and so hurt that he never trusted anyone again, most probably why he didn’t trust me. Tommy tried pleading to Gaelan that it was a mistake and it meant nothing, but my father thought it was best to just shut up, kill Lisa right where he caught her, and vow that Tommy never work in that town again. Also, if he ever saw Tommy’s face again, he’d kill him. It was enough to pussy out of a business partnership together, then sleep with the best friend’s wife, who happened to be pregnant when he killed her, but Gaelan hadn’t found that out until after the funeral. He didn’t even know if it would have been his or Tommy’s. In the end, my father still felt betrayed, and would do anything to get back at him.
The rain turned into a slight drizzle, though it was still cold and windy. James and I drove to a secluded area in the worst part of town. I had called my father and told him that James and I would not be attending brunch because we were busy. Of course, he figured we were just busy going at it like bunnies, if only he truly knew. I still had not checked upon the little girl who’s parents were killed. It pained me but killing Donnie was my own way of avenging her parents’ deaths.
Deagan and Marshall were sitting in their car focused on their surrounding and not making any small talk when James and I pulled up behind them.
“Lylie, just stay here for now okay?” He kissed my forehead and stepped out of the car, jogging over to Marshall’s window. I couldn’t hear anything from where I was, though I saw Deagan look over a couple times. I wasn’t sure if he spotted me or not, but he and Marshall both got out of the car and walked over to me.
“The fuck is Gaelan’s daughter doing here? Are you fucking crazy Harding!” Deagan said and walked up to him like he wanted to fight, but Marshall stood in between the two.
“Just hear me out. This could be good for us okay. Gaelan’s daughter, again, his daughter is on our side. He’s getting into some freaky shit okay. Chopping people up for no reason. This has nothing to do with the guns any more man.”
“How do you know?” Marshall asked.
“For one he had a woman’s head chopped off at a brunch we had. Another, Lylie saw Gaelan kill Mr. Yokatomi’s brother and sister-in-law right in front of their little girl. Donnie was right there too man. He didn’t even try to stop it or nothing.”
Deagan turned to me. “This true?”
I turned to look at James. “I’m afraid so,” I said, unsure with my answer, and lit a cigarette. I knew Gaelan would do some crazy shit from time to time, but I didn’t believe that he actually was chopping people into pieces. Well, aside from that lady who cheated on a colleague of Gaelan’s then decided to have the man who she cheated on’s child, but that’s a story for another time. Bottom line, the bitch had it coming.
“Fuck!” Deagan said and ran his fingers through his hair as he walked to his car.
“You gotta stay in there. Get as much intel as you can, just stay hidden this time,” Marshall said as Deagan was walking back. “Now go on, I’ll call you for the next meet.”
“Only if you promise nothing happens to her,” James said.
“I can’t promise you anything,” Deagan said.
“Then I’m done. Find your source elsewhere because I’m not putting my life and her life on the line so that I can be chopped into bits” James took my hand and turned to walk away.
“Okay, okay,” Marshall brushed his hand on his head. “A little longer, we just need you there a little longer. We’ve got someone working on when the shipment is coming in. He’s in deep too, nothing you need to worry about. After this deal you’ll be out.”
“I’m only staying with this fucking psycho until the deal, but if he does anything that puts either of our lives at stake. We’re out and we’re into witness protection.”
“Hang on tight,” Marshall said, both he and Deagan walked back to their car.
I could not believe what James just said, witness protection? I did not want that at all. When Gaelan goes, who’s going to take his throne then? What confused me most with the whole conversation was who the intel was? Should I have been worried or just let it slide?
We got back in the car and watched as Marshall and Deagan drove off.
“So what now? Just like that I’m a rat too? I’m ‘in’ on this shit you put yourself in?” I said, exhaling smoke from my nostrils.
“Well, no. I want you to be safe, that’s it.”
“Yeah, safe. I was safe not knowing about any of this shit James. You’re a fucking rat and you’re taking me down with you,” I opened the window and flicked the butt out. “Did you ever stop to think that maybe I don’t want out?”
“How could you not want to get out of this?” James asked starting the car. “You want to be a whore all your life?”
“I want out of that but I don’t want out. Don’t you get it James? This is all I know. Being a criminal is all I know. I can’t just stop and think that maybe if I go to some fantasy island everything will be all right and I won’t have to deal with stupidity and illegal bullshit, but it’s not that easy. If I run, I’m dead. But if I run after Gaelan’s dead, I’ll finally be free, but I’ll also finally be able to lead.”
“Lead? Lylie, you can’t do that. You’ll be the target of so many people, and they’re all gonna want to kill you or do business with you. These cops will throw you in jail if you don’t cooperate with them. You don’t think your dad ain’t dealing with cops?” James kept his eyes on the road as he said that. I couldn’t help but to think that maybe he doesn’t understand. Of course I understood my reasonings behind why I want to lead. I wanted to change things, have petty deals, not huge ones that put people’s lives at stake. Make that neighbourhood what it used to be, have people come to me for help not for a hit; that being neither drugs nor killing.
“You don’t think I know that. My brother is a fucking pig!” I said.
“Lylie, all I’m saying is think about this before you act. I love you and I don’t want anything to happen to you.”
“I’ve been taking care of myself since I was sixteen. I don’t need anyone’s help now.”
“I know I just worry.”
“Let me ask you something,” I said. “If something happened to Gaelan, would you still stay?”
“Um,” James started.
“Of course that would mean that the feds wouldn’t need you anymore and that you were free to either go back to your desk job or to give that up and be with me. Rule with me.”
We were at a stop light waiting as if it were forever. James tapped his fingers on the steering wheel and kept his gaze on the road. I shook my head and looked out the window at the busy streets of Soho. People so focused on their destinations, others so crazed at finding a cab. I wondered what it would actually be like if I did listen to James like I always wanted to and just leave, just to be free from that life. Although, that little voice inside my head kept telling me to stay, kept telling me that I would change things around town. That people would finally listen to me and fear me, but what if I was wrong?